Play dress-up to help guests with their wedding attire #Fashion Advice#dress code#steal-this-idea Updated Oct 12 2015 (Posted Nov 4 2013) Guest post by Layne Norton What does "outdoor-appropriate semi-formal attire" even mean!? THIS! Sometimes even a moderately offbeat wedding leaves guests uncertain about what they should wear. My fiancé and I are getting married in a field in November. It is the rent-a-tent, Porta-Potty, generator, and light-a-bonfire-when-it-gets-cold kind of field. NOT the behind-the-house-with-power-and-running-water-and-electric-patio-heaters kind. We wanted our guests to be dressy but comfortable, so we included inserts in our invitations to give guests a heads-up that they should try to look nice but bring sweaters and avoid the high heels and ball gowns. But… it just caused confusion. To remedy the confusion, my sister and I played dress-up! The two of us took pictures wearing a bunch of different outfits. We included examples of things that would be appropriate and inappropriate and posted them with cute captions on the wedding blog. It has helped clear up some of the confusion cause by the too-brief invite insert, plus it was really fun! Guest post written by Layne Norton I'm a long time reader and fan of Offbeat Bride. By day I sell birdseed, but by night I'm a cooking/gardening/crafting fiend. http://layneandjoel.blogspot.com PREVIOUS Toni & Nam's offbeat lite garden wedding with monsters and games NEXT A succulent-themed lavender and blue beachside wedding that'll warm you right up Show/Hide comments [ 12 ] This is adorable! Love the poses & facial expressions. Looks like you had a blast. Reply You are one of the great minds of our generation. No seriously, visuals are many times over much more helpful than dress code slang. 10 points to you! Reply This is exactly what I like! I like EXAMPLES of what's expected, whether those are given visually or verbally. When I'm not sure what to wear, I ask other people what they're planning on wearing. When people asked me what I meant by "black tie optional," I'd say, "Well, when I went to a BTO wedding, I wore a long black sheath dress with some beaded accents, a pair of strappy low heels, and a pashmina wrap." Or "If you have a tux or want to rent one, go ahead and wear a tux–the groomsmen will be in white tie, so you won't be out-fancying them. If you don't want to do the tux thing, a suit would be perfectly cool. If you don't have a suit, I'd recommend a tie with dress shirt and trousers." So, SPECIFICS. Reply Totally agreed! I also tend to prefer positive explanations like these. Whether I'm right or wrong or too sensitive, I always feel bad saying "No jeans" or "No t-shirts or shorts" because it seems like it's singling the more casual members of my family/friends unit out rather than leveling with the whole group to explain the intricacies of a possibly confusing request. Or not giving people the benefit of the doubt or something (because for most people, saying semi-formal means no jeans is a "no sh*t sherlock" moment) Reply My wedding is going to be during a Traditional Latin Mass, so that traditionally means at least knee length skirts, covered shoulders, and no boobs- and covered heads optional. I put that on my wedding website, but maybe visuals are needed! Reply My dress code included "dress for Michigan in December" but anyone who lives here knows THAT means squat. Maybe some visuals on the wedsite are in order (aka the beauty of layers). Reply Very cool idea! My sister (who is helping me plan) and I have been joking about what to call our dress code! It is casual, but not too casual, if you know what I mean. Photos on the website could be really fun and would definitely help with confusion. Reply Absolutely brilliant!! Reply great idea! Reply This is brilliant! I'm having my wedding ceremony at the summer camp FH and I met at – the ground is super rocky and half the camp is a hill so I definitely don't want anyone to show up in heels and sprain their ankles! Reply This is a brilliant solution! One of my best friends had a Vintage Garden Party dress code, and in her mind it was to be quite formal – lots of pearls and flowers etc…of course more than half the people misunderstood and came dressed as if heading out to a casual backyard BBQ. The few of us that had actually made an effort ended up being the ones that looked out of place, even in the beautifully decorated venue. Reply I am putting up pics on my wedding website that specify the "dress" and has a "What Not to Wear" section with example pictures. My family kept threatening to put me on that show, so the section title is a running joke and a lot of people know the show anyway. Besides, other than friends and most of our closer family members, people who know us will appreciate the clarification since they probably think our tastes are a bit eccentric anyway. Reply Join the conversation Cancel Reply Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *Comment Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. Sign me up for your offbeat awesomeness newsletter! No-drama comment policy Part of what makes the Offbeat Empire different is our commitment to civil, constructive commenting. Make sure you're familiar with our no-drama comment policy. Biz owners & wedding bloggers Please just use your real name in your comment, not your business name or blog title. Our comments are not the place to pimp your website. If you want to promote your stuff on Offbeat Bride, join us as an advertiser instead.